Zoning is the City’s primary tool for regulating land uses and implementing the policies of the comprehensive plan. The zoning code divides the city into different districts: residential, office-residential, commercial, industrial and downtown. There are also overlay zoning districts within the city that either provide more flexibility or impose additional restrictions to the underlying zoning district. Within each zoning district, the zoning code imposes land use controls that regulate what can be built on individual parcels of land. Proposed developments, from new buildings to small home additions, are required to meet the requirements of the zoning code. In some cases, a public hearing may be required in order to proceed.
Minneapolis Code of Ordinances, Title 20
The City of Minneapolis zoning code is contained in Title 20 of the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances and is hosted by municode.com. The zoning regulations govern the administration of the ordinance, and specify the uses allowed and development standards for each zoning district, while the zoning maps show the location of each primary and overlay zoning district.
A zoning district may either be a primary district or an overlay district. For more information on the definitions and requirements associated with each district, see Minneapolis Code of Ordinance, Title 20: Zoning Code.
Primary Zoning Districts
A primary district is any of several residence, office residence, commercial, downtown, or industrial districts. All property within the city is included within a primary zoning district. In the zoning code, these districts are described in Chapters 546-550.
Residence Districts. The residence districts are established to preserve and enhance quality of living in residential neighborhoods, to regulate structures and uses which may affect the character or desirability of residential areas, to encourage a variety of dwelling types and locations and a range of population densities consistent with the comprehensive plan, and to ensure adequate light, air, privacy and open space.
- R1 – Multiple-family District
- R1A – Multiple-family District
- R2 – Multiple-family District
- R2B – Multiple-family District
- R3 – Multiple-family District
- R4 – Multiple-family District
- R5 – Multiple-family District
- R6 – Multiple-family District
Office Residence Districts. The office residence districts are established to provide an environment of mixed residential, office, institutional, and where appropriate, small scale retail sales and service uses designed to serve the immediate surroundings. These office residence districts may serve as small to medium scale mixed use areas within neighborhoods, as higher density transitions between downtown and residential neighborhoods, or as freestanding institutions and employment centers throughout the city.
- OR1 – Neighborhood Office Residence District
- OR2 – High Density Office Residence District
- OR3 – Institutional Office Residence District
Commercial Districts. The commercial districts are established to provide a range of goods and services for city residents, to promote employment opportunities and the adaptive reuse of existing commercial buildings, and to maintain and improve compatibility with surrounding areas. In addition to commercial uses, residential uses, institutional and public uses, parking facilities, limited production and processing and public services and utilities are allowed.
- C1 – Neighborhood Commercial District
- C2 – Neighborhood Corridor Commercial District
- C3A – Community Activity Center District
- C3S – Community Shopping Center District
- C4 – General Commercial District
Downtown Districts. The downtown districts are established to provide a range of retail, entertainment, office, employment, residential, institutional and governmental activities of citywide and regional significance. The regulations recognize the unique qualities of downtown as the business and cultural center of the region, as a community of high-density residential choices, and as a place where the combined environment attracts businesses, workers, shoppers, visitors, tourists, and residents.
- B4 – Downtown Business District
- B4S – Downtown Service District
- B4C – Downtown Commercial District
- B4N – Downtown Neighborhood District
Industrial Districts. The industrial districts are established to provide locations for industrial land uses engaged in production, processing, assembly, manufacturing, packaging, wholesaling, warehousing or distribution of goods and materials. Regulations for the industrial districts are established to promote industrial development and to maintain and improve compatibility with surrounding areas. In addition to industrial uses, limited commercial uses, parking facilities, institutional and public uses and public services and utilities are allowed.
Overlay Zoning Districts
An overlay district is any of several additional districts established by the zoning regulations that may be more or less restrictive than the primary zoning district. Where a property is located within an overlay district, it is subject to the provisions of both the primary zoning district and the overlay district. Where the provisions are in conflict, the overlay district governs.
Overlay districts are established to preserve and protect the natural environment, to encourage pedestrian-oriented design, to promote redevelopment and rehabilitation, to promote mixed-use development, and to protect the public health, safety and welfare by preserving the unique character of existing areas for future use and development. In the City's zoning code, these districts are described in Chapter 551.
- PO – Pedestrian Oriented Overlay District
- IL – Industrial Living Overlay District
- TP – Transitional Parking Overlay District
- SH – Shoreland Overlay District
- FP – Floodplain Overlay District
- MR – Mississippi River Critical Area Overlay District
- DP – Downtown Parking Overlay District
- B4H – Downtown Housing Overlay District
- DH – Downtown Height Overlay District
- NM – Nicollet Mall Overlay District
- HA – Harmon Area Overlay District
- AP – Airport Overlay District
- WB – West Broadway Overlay District
- UA – University Area Overlay District
- DS – Downtown Shelter Overlay District
- SZ – Split Zoning Overlay District
The City’s zoning maps show the location of each primary and overlay zoning district.
Last updated Feb 9, 2020